Kitakyushu City is situated in the northern area of Fukuoka prefecture, at the northernmost tip of the Kyushu island. The city faces the Honshu mainland with the Kanmon Strait running between. The city was established in 1963, through the merger of 5 cities, Moji, Kokura, Tobata, Yahata, and Wakamatsu, becoming the first government‐ordinance‐designated city aside from the 3 major metropolitan areas and prefectural capitals. Apart from being a large government‐ordinance‐designated city, it also coexists with the nature. Kitakyushu city is surrounded by 3 seas; “Hibiki-nada” with its volatile waves, the fast moving “Kanmon Strait,” and peaceful “Suo-nada” of Seto Inland Sea. In addition, nearby are Hiraodai (one of Japan’s 3 largest Karst regions), and Mt. Sarakura with its more than 200° panoramic view of the city.
Kitakyushu City is home to various historical buildings, such as (1) Kokura Castle, whose construction began in 1602 by Lord Tadaoki Hosokawa, (2)the first headoffice of the Imperial Steel Works, Japan, famous for being an integral player in the "Sites of Japan's Meiji Industrial Revolution" which contributed to the modernization of Japan starting from the end of the Edo to the Meiji period, and (3) the retro-styled buildings near Mojiko, a once thriving international port on par with Yokohama and Kobe from the end of the Meiji to the beginning of the Showa period.
In 2018, Kitakyushu City was recognized as being one of the New Top 3 Cities with the Best Night Views in Japan. There are various ways to enjoy the night views. From atop the mountains, like the famous “Mt. Sarakura” and “Mt. Takato” which offers a view of red Wakato-ohashi bridge lit-up at night, or from the sea aboard a cruise ship, with night views of factories and cities.
Due to being surrounded by seas and
mountains, another one of its appeals is that it is blessed with
abundant variety of locally-sourced ingredients. The city is full of
fascinating gems from both the sea and the land; From the farmed “Buzen
Oysters” that are raised in the ideal and serene sea where 3 rivers
merge into, “Kokura-Beef” from Japanese black cattle raised with care
for 20 months near the city and selected after rigorous inspections, to
their proud high-grade “Ouma Bamboo Shoot”, raised in the largest bamboo
farm in Japan.
In addition, there are plenty of “yummy” local specialties such as “Kokura Fried Udon Noodles,” “Curry & Rice Gratin of Moji Port”, and a tasty, healthy local cuisine called “Nuka-Miso Daki,” where blueback fish (mackerels and sardines) are stewed in soy sauce, mirin (sweet rice wine), nuka-miso and Japanese pepper.